Essentials for Self Portraits | Getting Started

Self-portraits are a great way to learn about your camera, lighting equipment, posing, costuming, and yourself!

It can be difficult to be both model and photographer, so here are some essentials to get started in self portrait photography!


  • A Tripod
    For regular or beauty portraits, it’s often best to have the camera at eye-level

For fashion portraits, consider having the camera a bit lower, maybe waist level.  It’ll make you look taller!


  • A Focal Point
    Depending on how you trigger the camera, just a point on a wall can work, but I personally use an extra light stand with a foam head on it.  This way you can better see what will fit in the frame and how the light will fall!

When you get before the camera to model, you’ll take the place of what you used to focus.


  • A Trigger
    The camera’s self timer can work, but I highly recommend a remote shutter release!

There are wireless, time-lapse timers, and corded options, so consider what kind of portraits to want to take.

Corded and wireless are great when you’re relatively close to the camera, and a time-lapse remote is wonderful when you’re going to be far from the camera (like an environmental portrait).


  • Patience
    Patience is necessary for self portraits, as it can take dozens if not hundreds of photos to get one we like!


  • Extra batteries
    If you’re using a remote that uses batteries, be sure to have extras on hand.  You don’t want to be all dolled-up and have the remote suddenly stop working!


Self portraits are a huge opportunity to learn and grow, so I highly recommend giving them a shot!

We’ll delve into self-portrait photography more in the future, but now you have the essentials to get started!


If you have any questions or suggestions for Tips, Tricks, and Tutorials Tuesday, please leave a comment or contact me!

See you next week!

Much Peace and Keep Roamin’

3 Photography Essentials to Get Started

To kick off Tips, Tricks, and Tutorials Tuesday, let’s start off with some basics to get started with photography!

There’s not much you need to get started, but here are some things you’ll want to have when getting started:

A camera, a tripod, and a memory card.

  • A Good Camera

The best camera is the one of the highest quality that you already have or can afford to buy.

Ideally, this camera should give you control over focal length, shutter speed, ISO, and enable you to shoot in RAW.

Used, older model DSLRs can be found for around $200 or less, often cheaper than ‘quality’ point-and-shoot cameras or iPhones.

You want the best quality and control you can afford, and if that means using the phone you already have, than that’s a great place to start, but I can’t recommend an entry-level DSLR like the Nikon D3100 enough!

When buying used, check out a local camera dealer or sites like Amazon!  Be sure sellers have good reviews, a note on the camera’s condition, if it comes with a kit lens or not, and if a warranty is included~!

A Sturdy Tripod

This should be rock-solid to hold your camera steady, even in wind.  You ideally want to keep your ISO as low as possible, which means you’ll need to keep the camera’s shutter open long enough to properly expose your image!  You can try handheld, but this could result in blurry photos from movement.

Be sure your tripod is made for the camera you have!  A DLSR shouldn’t be put on the end of a selfie-stick or a flimsy tripod meant for light-weight, point-and-shoot cameras!

Look for one that’s collapsable and lightweight, and ideally made of metal and not plastic.  Many even have a leveler built in!

  • A Memory Card

Check your camera’s manual to find out which brands are recommended for your model, and if you’ll need an adapter.  Some cameras use ‘micro’ cards and not the larger ones!

Get the card with the most storage space you can afford.  Look for sales and buy-one-get-one deals.

If you plan on taking a lot of photos and shooting in RAW, you’ll want at least 16G.

*If your camera ever asks if you want to ‘format memory card’ and you haven’t backed-up your images, the answer in NO.  This will delete them!


So, not an exhaustive list to get started in photography by any means!


Basically it comes down to this:

Get the best quality camera you can afford that gives you the most control, a sturdy tripod that you trust with your equipment, and a memory card big enough for all the images you’ll be shooting!

If you have any questions or suggestions for Tips, Tricks, and Tutorials Tuesday, please leave a comment or contact me!

See you next week!

Much Peace and Keep Roamin’